Friday, 15 May 2020

London nature note

Dawn. Pigeons are everywhere, no longer fed by tourists in Trafalgar square and elsewhere and, no longer able to find the detritus of streetfood, they are having to revert to medieval practices; they have eaten the unripe cherries and figs, they congregate like extras in a Hitchcock film waiting for Tippi Hedren to pass by. Blue tits visit the bird feeder I have put in an olive tree outside on the street, unthinkable 3 months ago. The parakeets no longer fly en mass overhead at dawn and dusk, again no tourists to feed them in parks and squares.Morning coffee outside is serenaded by birdsong. No traffic noises, no planes, and then churchbells taking my mind back to Rupert Brooke and Grantchester and his sentimental cynicism.. Eerie if I did not know why.Foxes are around as ever, having to work harder for food. I leave them scraps at night which are always gone in the morning. I hear their barking often. There are reports though of cubs dying due to lack of food.Magpies are taking advantage of the crisis. They stalk the mews here for pigeon eggs and chicks, the pigeons are nesting in places that they would not dream of in normal times and being less cautious.
We have a proper dawn chorus reminiscent of my childhood. It wakens in me the idea of thinking of my mother in long past gardens where the sun always shone, no-one had coronavirus and there was always honey for tea.

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